REVIEW: Batgirl #38
Written by CAMERON STEWART and BRENDEN FLETCHER
Art by BABS TARR
Cover by CAMERON STEWART
THE FLASH 75 Variant cover by AARON LOPRESTI
Blank variant cover
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Things are going surprisingly well in Batgirl’s new life! But nothing good ever lasts long in Gotham City – and the other yellow boot is about to drop…hard!
To be honest, I did not read the previous issue which caused controversy with it’s reveal of the fake Batgirl as an evil cross-dresser. It did spark me to read this issue, and see if the qualities that I liked in Batgirl #35.
Some of that is there in this issue, with Barbara realizing that the shift she has made in her priorities does not sit well with everyone. Her new boyfriend, a police officer, finds fault with Batgirl taking the law in her own hands, her schoolwork is suffering badly, her focus on her popularity as Batgirl has driven one of her oldest friends, Black Canary away, and the pressure to live up to her popularity pushes her into a reckless confrontation with a criminally reckless celebrity.
This is the story that Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher are telling. They are telling it well, but like way too many stories featuring super-heroes, maybe Batgirl isn’t the best character to do it with. Batgirl is a very established character who has come across as very responsible in her past exploits, many of which have been established as still canon in the New 52. It all seems very out of character for Barbara, but that doesn’t make it less interesting to read.
Babs Tarr’s artwork is the best part of the issue, varying her line quality and shading to match mood and setting. The climatic chase is excellently choreographed, and every close up carries exactly the right amount of emotion that is needed for the scene. Maris Wicks compliments the artwork extremely well with color, especially when the story goes romantic for a few panels, using shades of pink to carry the mood. It’s a shame that the conversation prior to that didn’t lead into such a seriously romantic moment.
It’s still a good book, but it’s not firing on all cylinders. There are elements that make it fun, especially the ingraining of social media as an element of life in such a trendy part of Gotham. The transition of Black Canary into the lead singer of a band is especially nice, and one of those fun elements that make Batgirl fun to read, and that’s something that’s been missing in the New 52.